We have it on good authority that there was one big reason art lovers with means weren't buying into the condos in Julian Schnabel's Palazzo Chupi: Julian Schnabel. Which is, you know, fair enough. Think about it: He'd be around all the time, flopping about in the pool in tiny swim trunks (or none at all?), chatting with you in his nasally voice, acting pissy if you made any moves toward changing the antique Moroccan window dressings. Living inside his big, pink Gesamtkunstwerk would be way more intimate than any roommate scenario, we imagine. It would be like living inside his body. But a good investor thinks long-term, and that's what we think William J. B. Brady is doing. The Credit Suisse banker, who bought a $15.5 million unit in the building three years ago, just snapped up the triplex for $10.5 million, a third of what the artist was asking for it three years ago.
We don't know anything about real estate, but in our opinion, this seems like a very Schmart investment. Schnabel isn't going to be around forever, after all, and as the place matures and starts to be known less as a "crazy building an arrogant artist built during the boom much to the chagrin of the neighbors" to a "crazy historic building built by a famous artist," it will definitely appreciate in value. Until then, well, at least Brady can't see what's going on in the pool. He lives in Palo Alto.